What is an Automaton? State Machine

Card Puncher Data Processing


Automata theory is the study of abstract computing devices or machines.

The word automata (the plural of automaton) comes from the Greek word αὐτόματα, which means self-acting

An automaton consists of:

An automaton is represented through a directed graph where:

As the automaton sees a symbol of input, it makes a transition (or jump) to another state, according to its transition function, which takes the current state and the recent symbol as its inputs.

An automaton is a finite representation of a formal language (and therefore computer language) that may be an infinite set.

Automata are often classified by the class of formal languages they can recognize, typically illustrated by the Chomsky hierarchy, which describes the relations between various languages and kinds of formalized logic.


A state machine leaves almost no room for interpretation.



Class of problems

When developing solutions to real problems, we often confront the limitations of what software can do.


  • See Dropbox\automata
  • Book - Hopcroft, Motwani, Ullman, Automata Theory, Languages, and Computation 3rd Edition. pdf - to continue - chapter 2

Discover More
Word Recognition Automaton
Automata - Finite Automata

A finite automaton is an automaton that has a set of states and its control moves from state to state in response to external inputs. It has a start and an end state and there are only a finite number...
Card Puncher Data Processing
Automata - State

The state page in automata. Q is the symbol for the set of states q is the symbol for the start state. The state that the automaton is in after processing input is expressed by the below expression:...
Grammar - Hierarchy of grammar (Chomsky)

In the formal languages (of computer science and linguistics), the Chomsky hierarchy is a hierarchy of formal grammars described by Noam Chomsky in 1956. The hierarchy describes the relations between:...
Card Puncher Data Processing
Process - Workflow (Process Management)

Workflow is a label for systems which enable: the building of process definitions and the execution of processes. See also General Purpose Workflow is Complicated. The complexity with workflow...
Card Puncher Data Processing
What is a Transition in a Automata?

In a automata, a Transition is the fact of going from one state to another. It is represented by a edge in a graph. It's a function that: takes as arguments a state and an input symbol (The transition...

Share this page:
Follow us:
Task Runner